Trucks are devices that carry skateboard wheels and allow performing various skateboard maneuvers. Classical boards trucks have basically similar designs. But surfskate trucks — the ones that actually can turn a regular skateboard into a surfskate — have somewhat different structures.
This post will tell you about the arrangement of classical skateboard trucks and how to fine-tune them.
Below are the truck parts:
A hanger is a massive metal piece that encloses an axle with wheels and bearings mounted onto it. A hanger is one of the key parts of the truck. A poorly manufactured hanger may eventually bend. If this happens, the board will no longer be able to move in straight lines.
If an axle inside a hanger is made of soft metal, its thread will be easy to strip. Hence you won’t be able to fasten the wheels tightly, and the truck will need to be replaced.
Hangers range in their width: the wider a hanger, the more stable the skate, and the larger the turning radius. A choice of the proper width of truck for you is conditioned by your deck width and by the skateboard type itself.
A kingpin is a large threaded bolt used to attach a truck hanger to the baseplate. A couple of bushings and washers are mounted onto it and tightened with a nut.
A bushing is a soft polyurethane lining. There are two bushings per truck. When a rider tilts a board into either side, bushings accept the load, alleviating the hanger tilt and preventing the truck’s metal parts from scratching. Bushings are made of the same materials as the soft part of the wheels. Bushings vary in softness (they can be more rigid or softer) and in diameter (smaller or larger).
A baseplate is a part attached to the board or to the pivot mechanism. A baseplate may vary in length and width depending on the skateboard it is designed for.
A pivot cup is a polyurethane cup-shaped piece to be inserted into a dedicated cavity in the truck’s baseplate. This is where a protruding part of the hanger rests. Its function is basically the same as that of the bushings: to ensure smoother turnings and to prevent a hanger from scraping against the baseplate.
Types of Trucks
Classical trucks can be classified into two main groups:
TKP (Traditional Kingpin trucks) and RKP (Reverse Kingpin trucks). The TKP truck’s kingpin orientation is towards the center of the board, while the RKP truck’s kingpin is oriented towards a nose/a tail.
Each of the two types of trucks ensures different riding sensations. RKP trucks are higher compared to TKP trucks and provide more stability while skating. The truck response to the rider’s movements depends on the degree of the kingpin’s tilt towards the baseplate.
Fine-tuning Your Truck
Adjusting classical trucks is as easy as pie. There is a large screw nut screwed onto the kingpin. Simply tighten the nut harder for a more stable and less maneuverable skate.
Alternatively, for a softer truck and smaller turning radius (and for reduced stability that goes along with it), just ease off the nut.
If your skateboard is still wobbly with the nuts tightened to the maximum level, you may want to install stiffer bushings.
Hopefully, this post helped you understand better the arrangement of your skateboard and how to adjust it according to your skating style.
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